Director of Human Resources
Chief Operations Officer
Manager of Custodial and Intermediary Affairs
It doesn’t matter what socioeconomic class you are talking about: Africans LOVE job titles. If you want to instantly boost morale, instead of calling them a cook, call them Director of Culinary Services and immediately watch productivity jump 100%. This love for job titles stems from a very deep inferiority complex that African people have. And there’s no superficial band-aid for a inferiority complex that works quite as well as the external validation a job title.
Even if the African person does no significant work within the firm, they will proudly flaunt their business card and proclaim themselves as a manager. Manager of what? Half the time, even Africans don’t know.
The key to this one is quite simple. Should you employ an African, make sure you give his job the fanciest name (now that you know how much Africans love big words, feel free to use flowery language when describing their job. In fact the more complex sounding the job title the better). In addition to that, don’t expect the complexity of the job title to match the added effort on the job.
Expect the same work you would from a normal security guard irrespective of whether or not you rename him the
Commander in Chief of South C House B, Servants Quarter……Esquire GSU MBA…….em, Makere trained, Officially Certified, High School Trained (Oh you get the point).
Whenever you address the African, you can completely forego the task of having to remember their native name if you always address them by their job title.
Finally, make sure you give him business cards, plaques and any external indication of his job title so that every single member of his extended family, social network and constituency can stare at it all day while he is at work.
Remember, “substance is nothing, title is everything” and you will be just fine.
NB: If you live in the States please check out 12 things you can get for free from Majonzi. Feel free to join the discussion and share some freeebies you may have discovered over time.